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How muscle fatigue originates in the head
Date:12/5/2011

regions that exhibit an increase in activity shortly before the interruption of a tiring, energy-demanding activity and are thus involved in signalizing the interruption: the thalamus and the insular cortex both areas which analyze information that indicates a threat to the organism, such as pain or hunger.

Neuronal system has regulating effect on muscle performance

The third study has now shown that the inhibitory influences on motoric activity are actually mediated via the insular cortex: In tests using a bicycle ergometer, the researchers determined that the communication between the insular cortex and the primary motoric area became more intensive as the fatigue progressed. "This can be regarded as evidence that the neuronal system found not only informs the brain, but also actually has a regulating effect on motoric activity," says Lea Hilty, summing up the current result. And Kai Lutz points to the new research field that now opens up with these results: "The findings are an important step in discovering the role the brain plays in muscle fatigue. Based on these studies, it won't just be possible to develop strategies to optimize muscular performance, but also specifically investigate reasons for reduced muscular performance in various diseases." Prolonged reduced physical performance is a symptom that is frequently observed in daily clinical practice. It can also appear as a side effect of certain medication. However, so-called chronic fatigue syndrome is often diagnosed without any apparent cause.


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Contact: Dr. Kai Lutz, Dep. of Psychology, Neuropsychology, UZH
Kai.Lutz@uzh.ch
41-446-357-395
University of Zurich
Source:Eurekalert  

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